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Greenery named Pantone Colour of the Year 2017

Greenery, named by Pantone Colour for 2017 is the colour of hope and growth.

Greenery named Pantone Colour of the Year 2017. Image Courtesy of Pantone

Greenery named Pantone Colour of the Year 2017. Image Courtesy of Pantone

Green, a lucky colour for the Irish and a holy colour in Muslim countries and sign of respect and in the past, the colour of the heavens in the Ming Dynasty and  a sacred colour to the Egyptians representing hope and joy of Spring and symbol of fertility in pagan times. In England, the colour green is associated with the tale of Robin Hood while in Japan, it is the colour of eternal life and then in North Africa green represents corruption!

Green Man, European Pagan Rituals. Photography Charles Freger Wilder Mann

Green Man, European Pagan Rituals. Photography Charles Freger Wilder Mann

In an interview with the New York Times, executive director of the Pantone Colour Institute Leatrice Eiseman said the choice was made in response to a “stressful and tense world” she said. “This is the colour of hopefulness, and of our connection to nature.” Refreshing and revitalising shade, Greenery is also symbolic of new beginnings. “It speaks to what we call the ‘re-words’ – regenerate, refresh, revitalise, renew,” she added. “Every spring we enter a new cycle and new shoots come from the ground. It is something life-affirming to look forward to.”

Trump Farage 2016 Image via Pinterest

Trump Farage 2016 Image via Pinterest

There’s no surprise that the world needs hope after the events of 2016 – the year of Trump, Brexit, terror attacks and celebrity deaths. As some of you may know I am not  one to live by colour trends but this life-affirming shade is associated with the pursuit of personal passions and vitality which got me thinking of all things green! Here’s my personal round up for ‘Best of Green’!

Let’s get started. Is this how the world reacted to Trump inauguration as US president or is it just me?

Green Tongue Image via Pinterest

Green Tongue Image via Pinterest

On the more serious note  colour green exists in abundance but my attention was caught by emeralds, wasabi, and sage. Have you ever heard about “24-carat South African artist” Kurt Pio and his diamond inspired works? If you want to learn about self-promotion, he is the man to follow on Instagram.

Artist Kurt Pio and his Emerald Cut Diamond, Photograph Courtesy of Kurt Pio.

Artist Kurt Pio and his Emerald Cut Diamond, Photograph Courtesy of Kurt Pio.

When it comes to green colour the English language reflects some very strange attributes: Would you rather be green with envy, green around the gills, or green behind the ears? While the colour green is often linked to stability, it can be associated with inexperience when you think of the terms “being green” or “greenhorn.”

Green with Envy, Image via Pinterest

Green with Envy, Image via Pinterest

Green is universally associated with nature – green grass, green or eco-friendly. If you happened to attend a Chelsea flower show this year in London you may have come across these beautiful green grass bears!

Green Grass Bears at Chelsea Flower Show

Green Grass Bears at Chelsea Flower Show

When thinking of green in nature it was a green peacock, green scarab and green snake that really stood out for me and here’s why. Effortlessly beautiful and captivating in every nuance and move the peacock is here to remind us what we can achieve when we allow our unique gifts to shine.

Green Peacock, Image via Pinterest

Green Peacock, Image via Pinterest

The scarab beetle was sacred to the Egyptian god of creation, resurrection and immortality. As a symbol of the spirit, the beetle carries messages that bring our attention to spiritual maturity, renewal and the invisible side of life.

Scarab Beetle, Image via Pinterest

Scarab Beetle, Image via Pinterest

When a green snake shows up in a dream, it symbolises the resurgence of the dreamer’s connection with oneself, going back to what is true to us.

Green Snake, Image via Pinterest

Green Snake, Image via Pinterest

The colour green is also linked to safety and advancement. Traffic lights turn green, when it is time to go and projects that are approved get the “green light.” Approximately 5% – 8% of men and 0.5% of women in the world are born colour-blind. Some European countries make every single colour with a unique standardised shape and thus allowing colour-blind people to understand the significance of the coloured light at any given moment.

Traffic Light Tree by Pierre Vivant Westferry Roundabout, Canary Wharf London

Exit signs are green for a reason as they remain visible in the burning fire indicating the way to safety. Not only do Exit signs are green to correspond to the International Standard for Safety Signs but they also carry the International Standard Graphical symbol for exit.

Green Exit Neon Light, Image via Pinterest

Green Exit Neon Light, Image via Pinterest

While looking for a meaning of the colour green in different cultures I stumbled across this. In Japan the words for blue and green (“ao”) are the same. In Spain, racy jokes are “green” while in Israel, green may symbolise bad news. In China, “wearing a green hat” (戴绿帽子 or dài lǜ mào zǐ) is associated with infidelity, it is an expression used by Chinese when a woman cheats on her husband which apparently dates back to the Yuan dynasty when the relatives of prostitutes were forced to wear green hats.

Green Hat, Image via Pinterest

Green Hat, Image via Pinterest

Interestingly the green colour is associated with both good and bad luck. While green is lucky in most Western cultures, such as a green shamrock, you won’t find many cars at the racetrack in the colour green because they are considered unlucky.

Healey Reg.No. NOJ 391 was the 6th car ( and 2nd Racer) built at Warwick. Painted Light green, as Healey thought dark green to be unlucky. Image via Pinterest

Have you heard an old English rhyme about wedding colours: “Married in green, ashamed to be seen?” Well the bride in this Renaissance painting by Jan Van Eyck is clearly unaffected by wedding myths and superstitions as she wears green as a symbol of her fertility. She is slouching in an imitation of pregnancy indicating her willingness to bear children.

Jan Van Eyck's 15th Century wedding portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his bride.

Jan Van Eyck’s 15th Century wedding portrait of Giovanni Arnolfini and his bride.

Green is associated not only with money, finances and banking but also ambition, greed, jealousy as well as wall street. Green is typically used by companies looking to bond visually with nature, to promote wellness and health or safety and the military. Talking about money, in the United States their currency is printed on green paper.

The reverse of the United States one-dollar bill has been green since 1861, giving it the popular name greenback.

The reverse of the United States one-dollar bill has been green since 1861, giving it the popular name greenback.

Designing with Green

You may be surprised to hear that there are more shades of green than that of any other colour so please forget about fifty shades of grey. Greens range from yellow-greens, such avocado greens and lime, to those with a deep blue tinge such as emerald where aqua or turquoise are colours that are typically half green and half blue. Green is probably one of the most natural, and neutral, colours one can use in a design project. When the colour green takes on a yellowish tone it has negative associations, no wonder people would comment on the yellowish green car I used to drive..

Green, in general, is extremely pleasing and appealing to the eye and can increase a person’s sense of restfulness or calm and because of its wavelength on the light spectrum. The Art Deco green interior in Old Havana is right at the top of my list when it comes to designing with the colour green!

Art Deco Lobby, Havana, Cuba, 2014, David Burdeny

Art Deco Lobby, Havana, Cuba, 2014, David Burdeny

The darker shades of green colour tend to have masculine associations, whereas lighter tones are linked to feminine qualities. What’s not to love about this lush green arrangement by Embassy Home Outfitters?!

Darker Shades of Green, Image Courtesy of Embassy Home Outfitters

The bright green hues are safe and full of hope. They represent stability and endurance though it’s connection to the natural world. The Humlegården Apartment by Tham & Videgård Hansson Architects could not serve as a better example as it relates directly to the setting at the park Humlegården where the greenery outside changes with the season.

Humlegården Apartment by Tham & Videgård Hansson Architects, Image Courtesy of Tham & Videgård Hansson Architects

When green and blue mix, this combination of colours has psychological effects resulting in a peaceful calming and restful atmophere. It’s no secret I’m a long time admirer of Kelly Wearstler‘s  work and her lobby design is a great example.

Lobby Design by Kelly Wearstler, Image Courtesy of Kelly Wearstler

The more yellowish green, the less positive are the associations with the colour as they are often thought to represent illness or discord while some associate this shade with jealousy.

Image Courtesy of Tomas San Andres

Olive green is also representative of nature but the colour also symbolises peace, think about the phrase “extend an olive branch”.

A study in Green at Achille Salvagni Atelier by Cara Woodhouse Interiors, Image Courtesy of Cara Woodhouse Interiors

The picture of “study in green” at Achille Salvagni Atelier has been designed by Cara Woodhouse Interiors and of course I have to mention our Kaleidoscope installation featuring our Spring Design.

Kaleidoscope Installation, Image Courtesy of Designer’s Atelier

Here’s to hope and peace! Colour green.

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